Capital prepares to mark Armed Forces Day

Posted on 21/06/2014 by



The Grassmarket will welcome a parade of serving personnel, veterans and their supporters tomorrow as the City of Edinburgh Council hosts special events to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

Celebrations in Edinburgh will start from 10:30am on Sunday (22 June) as the annual parade of up to 500 serving personnel and veterans march up the Royal Mile and down to the Grassmarket where they will be welcomed by Edinburgh’s Lord Provost.

The parade and welcome will be followed by live music and dance until 2pm – highlights include a flashback to the forties with retro dance troupe The Kennedy Cupcakes, ska music from the Pork Pie Band and traditional Scots song and dance.

On Monday (23 June), the Armed Forces Day flag will be presented to the Lord Provost and raised above the City Chambers to honour Armed Forces personnel past, present and future. ‘Raise the Flag Day’ is when hundreds of civic and Government buildings throughout the United Kingdom will fly the Armed Forces Day flag until just after the weekend.

The Armed Forces Day events in Edinburgh are open to all to show their support for the Armed Forces and veterans. The celebrations take place ahead of National Armed Forces Day in Stirling on June 28.

Edinburgh’s Lord Provost and Veterans Champion, Donald Wilson, said: “This city has a long and proud tradition of supporting the Armed Forces and our veterans. Holding a day of celebration in their honour is just one of the ways the people of Edinburgh can show their support.

“This is the city’s way of saying thank you and allows us to show our gratitude and appreciation for the enormous sacrifices being made every day on our behalf by so many courageous men and women.”

Colonel Martin Gibson, Executive Chairman of Veterans Scotland said: “Veterans Scotland very much appreciates the Capital City’s commitment to recognising the work of both today’s Armed Forces and the service of our veterans in maintaining our freedom.

“Our veterans have served in World War 2 and the many more modern day conflicts around the world; every year since 1945, apart from 1968, men and women from the City have been involved in operations somewhere in the world. Edinburgh has a long and very proud military tradition, and the strong support that the Armed Forces Community is given by all ages is very much valued.”

Kevin Gray, Chief Executive Officer at Legion Scotland said: “Legion Scotland is proud to play a part in the Edinburgh Armed Forces Day parade to honour Armed Forces personnel and show our gratitude and support for our veterans.

“On the centenary of WW1 the event is even more significant in our hearts and minds, as we stand together to pay tribute to so many brave soldiers who made enormous sacrifices to help protect our freedom.”

Similar events will take place across the UK, enabling people to come out and show their support, and giving a much-valued morale boost for Armed Forces personnel and their families.



Sunday 11:00am Edinburgh’s Armed Forces Day parade will reach the City Chambers for an ‘eyes right’ salute from Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Donald Wilson, before he joins the end of the parade and follows it down to the Grassmarket.

11:30am welcome from the Lord Provost and address by Lieutenant General Robert Baxter, President of Veterans Scotland, followed by performances from the Kennedy Cupcakes and music acts.


Monday 9:45am Procession to make its way to the City Chambers where ceremonial flag will be handed over to the Lord Provost, before the official Armed Forces Day flag is raised from the roof of the City Chambers.

The flag will be carried by Colonel Jim Wilson, General Secretary, Veterans Scotland, and escorted down the Royal Mile accompanied by a piper and two Royal British Legion Scotland National Standards, before it is presented to the Lord Provost. He will be accompanied by Commander Blackburn of the Royal Navy, and Squadron Leader Riley from the Royal Air Force.